Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 45
  2. Negative: 3 out of 45
  1. 83
    If you think you can handle the absurd difficulty of Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?, you'll have fun with it. The charming sprites and modest 3D backgrounds work well with the PSP and the music and voice acting is commendable.
  2. This challenging, often-hilarious platformer provides a huge shift in the usually strategic Disgaea series.
  3. Prinny is an absolutely charming, funny and downright fun handheld gem we wish popped up on the PSP more often. This is a side-scrolling platform game with a lot to offer those gamers that appreciates an enjoyable, bite-sized adventure that is close to giving a certain Italian plumber some competition.
  4. The game is short if you're only into a single run-through, but all the unlockables and multiple endings give this game serious legs.
  5. To Prinny's credit, it rewards dedication with inventive stages, clever boss battles, and an enduring sense of accomplishment. [Apr 2009, p.89]
  6. This collect-'em-all compulsion will see a certain type of gamer through, as will the charm and comedy of the Nippon Ichi fanboy. But for many gamers the infuriating platforming and a combat system that rewards pattern-learning and slow progression over fast, reaction-based advancement of Nippon Ichi's off-kilter design decisions will be insurmountable obstacles to true enjoyment.
  7. 60
    Unfortunately, thanks to the unwieldy controls and poor design choices, Prinny bombs. [Mar 2009, p.81]
  8. Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? is perfect for platformer lovers and Disgaea fans alike. It's loaded with fan service, extremely well-polished, looks and plays good, has subtle depth despite a simple move set, and doesn't punish players for trying out new things with their huge squad of prinnies.
  9. A humorous, beautifully-presented, straight-up, side-scrolling, hard-as-a-Hero's-honker, silly spin-off action-platforming game that has some serious legs—even if its hero doesn't.
  10. Noticeable control demons are the only thing that prevent this hilarious game from appeal to our better angels.
  11. 75
    Nippon Ichi's RPGs always demand a high level of patience, persistence, and masochism; by that measure, Prinny seems like a perfect adaptation of the Disgaea mindset to an action milieu. It may only appeal to the fanatically obsessed, but it does a damn fine job of it.
  12. Charming to look at, but a real sod to play. Prinny provides a classic platforming challenge. [Aug 2009, p.82]
  13. Delivers all the goods where it counts most. It’s hard as hell, but won’t frustrate you to the point of despair. Its sense of humor is still charming - even though we wanted more of it - and it looks great to boot.
  14. Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? is an old-style platform game, with a classical gameplay and six stages full of enemies and traps. The graphics are stylish, colorful, rich in detail, with funny characters. This is the kind of game you can love or hate, since it's really difficult and frustrating.
  15. 60
    Prinny’s still a good time for players who don’t feel the need to prove their manhood, and if you do have something to prove…well, step right up and try your hand.
  16. Nippon Ichi has brought us a fantastic game, which will please every PSP owner because of its dynamism, gameplay style and, of course, its hilarious story.
  17. There’s little doubt that Prinny is good old-fashioned frustrating fun, with loads of replayability granted by its six difficulty levels packing myriad trinkets to be picked up along the way.
  18. Even though, in its first few stages, Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? is both charming and fun, seemingly out of nowhere the difficulty soars.
  19. Prinny sabotages the player's platforming with unsympathetic controls. [Aug 2009, p.106]
  20. 85
    There's a ton of stuff to unlock, and gamers who are looking for an extra challenge can play on Hell mode (where Prinny dies after only 1 hit). The humor and charm of the game is enough to make even the most jaded of gamers crack a smile.
  21. If you're a fan of Nippon Ichi humour and love your games in Metal Slug and Ghouls 'N' Ghosts flavours, then feel free to add a point on to the score because, dood, this game's made for you. [June 2009, p.124]
  22. It's not just Nippon Ichi fans who will love Prinny. Masochists will too. For them, the endless death and difficult platforming will taste as good as a vanilla milkshake on a summer's day. The controls, though, really do have the potential to put everyone off.
  23. Prinny: Can I be the Hero? is a complex platformer with burst of actions where the story is all based upon the Disgaea Universe, offers a pleasing experience for gamers. It is an innovative game of humongous difficulty and limited control, although there is a great sense of humor and a nice artistic touch.
  24. It's an action game full of great characters, funny writing and plenty of floating platforms. Throw in some devilishly clever level designs and a non-linear story, and you have a game that you'll want to replay over and over again!
  25. Those who stick with Prinny will definitely have fun, but I feel like those people are very much a minority within the gaming world.
  26. So, is Prinny worth it? Perhaps if you're into this hard-to-be-hard sort of thing. You masochist. But for the rest of us, the game is going to be too much of a pain to really enjoy.
  27. Prinny: Can I really be the Hero is a nice surprise in the dull PSP Line Up. Nippon Ichi game rises from the crowd thanks to a nice graphical design and an “old style” gameplay. Even if it doesn’t stands for it’s originality, the good variety and the nice art design make Prinny a valid game. Probably, the intense difficulty will discourage casual gamers.
  28. An almost heroic debut for the explosive penguins, spoilt only by a foolishly inflexible control system.
  29. Lighthearted, loveably manic, and shamelessly fun, this is a great fit for PSP. [Aug 2009, p.118]
  30. 80
    It's not perfect, but it's a treat for players looking to feed their PSPs with a quality game.
  31. 80
    If you're into games like "Devil May Cry" or "God Hand" where no punch is pulled, Prinny is totally worth a look, dood. [Issue#181, p.81]
  32. Enjoyable platformer will make you laugh with all the tiny cute graphics and exploding penguins! Do not expect childish difficulty though 1000 lives will not be enough. [Sept 2009]
  33. A real disappointment. [Aug 2009, p.76]
  34. Prinny's a simple throwback title for gamers who simply like to have fun with their games. Good gameplay, graphics, and sound, along with a decent challenge make this one worth picking up.
  35. Rarely do we get games like this, and I suspect that despite all the obvious love that was heaped on the game, we'll probably never see a sequel.
  36. Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? isn’t for everyone, heck it’s not even for most platforming fans. This is hardcore gamer’s game that takes an immense amount of patience and skill to get through.
  37. 90
    Prinny, can you really be the hero? The answer is an astounding yes.
  38. The jump mechanic is frustratingly finicky. [May 2009, p.85]
  39. 74
    In some ways Prinny succeeds in spite of itself.
  40. Remember when 2D side-scrollers were on the cutting edge of video gaming? Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero will appease both retro fans and current-gen gamers with pure, honest, no frills gameplay.
  41. Longtime gamers, especially those who dug this type of game back in the day (controller-chucking fits and all), will find Prinny a breath of fresh air on the content-starved platform, even if that fresh air is pierced by your own frustration-powered F-bombs.
  42. The Nippon Ichi crew are masters of turn-based strategy so there was no guarantee that they could do an action game, any more than Madonna was guaranteed any success in her acting career. But succeed they have; gamers can dive into their wicked anime universe with pick-up-and-play accessibility [Aug 2009, p.78]
  43. If we should compare Prinny to other game, we would compare to Mega Man, because of its distinct visual style and the sadistic difficulty.
  44. The wonderful graphics and catchy music feel almost wasted in this release, and it definitely feels more like a series of side-missions than its own adventure.
  45. Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? is only for Disgaea fans or lovers of hard platforming titles.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Apr 2, 2014
    Highly recommend this to fans of the genre or hardcore players, it is one of the easiest platformers to get into, but by no means the easiest to win. Casual players should not touch this game at all, but for those who are looking for a nice challenge, Prinny will more than do the trick. The graphics are nice, the platforming, while could use a little work, is very solid and almost perfect, level design is unique and cool, story is as you'd expect, but still good, voice acting is amazing, music is also really good, some songs have that little "oomph" to them that you'll just wanna hear again. Overall if you can take the difficulty, Prinny is a masochistic platformer you do not wanna miss. Full Review »
  2. Aug 14, 2011
    This game is pretty challenging, even in standard mode. Jumping seems to be a little bit awkward, but that's what you get for being a Prinny. Some of the bosses in this 2d platformer are pretty tough and unforgiving, but satisfaction guaranteed if you manage to beat the boss, even if you lost 50 prinnies in the battlefield. Luckily, the game gives you an army of 1000 Prinny soldiers at the beginning, so you probably have at least a hand full of them in the end. There are 2 game difficulties here: Standard and Hell's Finest. I chose the first, because I am a n00b. Standard mode gives you 3 hit points, while Hell's Finest is mocking you with a one-hit kill. I bought this game for 10 euro's (in the Dutch PSN store), and Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero is one of the best PSP games I have ever played. And to answer Prinny's question: "Yes, you can really be the hero, dood!" Full Review »